News Release

Saddam Verdict and the Election


Earlier this month, the U.S.-backed special tribunal in Baghdad set Nov. 5 as the date for the announcement of the verdict and sentence in the first trial of Saddam Hussein. The U.S. midterm election is Nov. 7.

Horton is chairman of the International Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association and adjunct professor at the Columbia University Law School. He makes frequent trips to Iraq, working as an attorney representing arrested local-hire reporters of U.S. media.

Horton said today: “Most observers expected the date would be much later, but it seems to have been moved up. It will be front page news in the papers on Monday — the day before the election. This is designed to show some progress in Iraq. The American public will see Saddam condemned to death and see it as a positive thing.

“When you look at polling figures, there have been three significant spike points. One was the date on which Saddam was captured. The second was the purple fingers election. The third was Zarqawi being killed. Based on those three, it’s easy to project that they will get a mild bump out of this.

“In my experience, everything that comes out of Baghdad is very carefully prepared for U.S. domestic consumption. … There is a team of American lawyers working as special legal advisers out of the U.S. embassy, who drive the tribunal. They have been involved in preparing the case and overseeing it from the beginning. The trial, which is shown on TV, has mild entertainment value for Iraqis, but they refer to it regularly as an American puppet theater.”

See: “November Surprise? Why Hasn’t Mainstream Media Connected the Dots Between Saddam’s Judgment Day and the Midterm Elections?” by Tom Engelhardt.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167